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Ronaldo’s Exit – How Much Would It Effect Us And Do You Care?

We couldn’t praise Ronaldo enough this year. He was been incredible. I struggle to think of the last time a player had such an obvious effect on our season. A goals total of 42 in 48 games is phenomenal, particularly from a player who has spent much of the season on the right wing.

I have strong memories of debates circling message boards of who was the greater player, Ronaldo or Reyes. More recently, just in December, people swore blind that Kaka was a much better player and was deservedly placed above him in European and World Player of the Year. Now though, there can’t be any doubt. Measure him against anyone and nobody comes close to Ronaldo 07-08.

However, I’m sure I’m not the only one entirely bored with the constant rumours linking him with Real Madrid and his failure to reassure the club and fans that he is staying. So are we bothered if he goes this summer?

No one player is bigger than this club. United lives by this saying and Sir Alex Ferguson has enforced this heavily. After his initial drive of shifting the booze culture, selling on the likes of Paul McGrath and Norman Whiteside, he got rid of important names like Mark Hughes, Andrei Kanchelskis, Paul Ince, Dwight Yorke, David Beckham and Ruud van Nistelrooy, to name a few. The decisions to bench certain players and sell them on certainly raised an eye-brow or two, but it has always been for the greater good of United. If Fergie needed to cut Ronaldo loose to, he would, and we wouldn’t look back.

There have been claims United are a “one-man team” which I find entirely ludicrous. No doubt, Ronaldo has been our best player this season, as well as the best player in the league, but does that make us solely reliant on him?

It is interesting to note that within the top 11 scorers in the league this season, United have three players, which is three more than Chelsea, and two more than Arsenal or Liverpool. It is important to mention that Wayne Rooney has been missing for close to a third of all Premiership games this season due to injury, yet still finds his place as the highest scoring Englishman in the league. United scored 15 more goals than Chelsea last season and this is with Rooney and Tevez, neither of whom can proclaim to be out and out strikers, as our only front men, following the season long injury for Saha. Imagine our attack when we do buy that coveted striker in the summer.

Let’s not overlook what can be easy to forget about either, our defence. Conceding just 22 goals this season, never more than 2 goals a game, United had the strongest defensive record in the league. This is with our first choice right back out of action all season and Nemanja Vidic suffering everything from stitches in the mouth to an infect stomach!

Yet still, United are a one man team?

At the close of last season, we could all laugh at the speculation of where the goals would come from after Ruud van Nistelrooy left. We scored 11 more goals in the 06-07 season than we did in Ruud’s last season at the club, with Ronaldo and Rooney finished 3rd and 4th highest scorers respectively. Nobody had accounted for the fact that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would return from injury and score 7 league goals in his 16 league appearances before the title was won (7 of them from the start), or that an “ageing” Paul Scholes and “bought for promotion in the East” Ji-Sung Park would contribute 11 league goals between them. We certainly didn’t have a “past it” Ryan Giggs and “versatile” John O’Shea bagging 4 league goals each.

Delving deeper, we couldn’t have been written off more clearly than at the start of the 95-96 season, on the back of selling Hughes, Kanchelskis and Ince. The team of “kids” that won the Double that season were told they wouldn’t win a thing, eh Alan YSB Hansen.

Ferguson was apparently off his rocker selling on superstar David Beckham and bringing some lightweight Portuguese teenager in to fill his boots. He was mad to let his relationship with our leader, Roy Keane, to disintegrate in to such a state that he walked out on us. It makes me wonder if people had seen the fire in Gary Neville’s belly as he proudly held our badge up to the travelling dippers just months before. Did people honestly think Roy Keane should have stayed beyond the summer, given his knackered hips and loss of pace? And did they honestly think that Neville’s love for this club couldn’t be the driving force Keane’s passion for winning had once provided us with?

I digress.

Ferguson will move on who he needs to move on. If Ronaldo is tempted too heavily by Real Madrid this summer, then it is without doubt time he went. I know I won’t be alone when no tears are shed. He is a great player, the best at the moment, and I am ever so pleased he had the season he did. For the sake of our success, and for being able to stick two fingers up at all those ABU, England loving mugs. How it must pain them, those fans who boo him every week and cheer when their player kicks him in to the stands, to have no option but to praise him. I love it. But not enough for me to feel the slightest inclination of wanting to cling on to a player who wants out. If he wants to leave, then good luck to him. But Beckham isn’t the only player who, after telling him not to leave this week, can inform him that usually the only way is down after leaving us.

So just like when Eric Cantona told us au revoir, Roy Keane told us to shove it up our bollocks (or so I imagine), RvN gave his sob story of the ordeal at being put on the bench one or twice, United will come back fighting next season. We won the Treble just two years after the magical Cantona left us and the European Cup less than three years after Keane walked out of the door. Two years after Ruud left, we have the highest scoring player in the Premiership and the Champions League. Do people honestly believe that Ronaldo leaving would leave us in a worse state than any other great player who left?

Despite missing almost a third of the season, there are only two more players in the league who have assisted more goals than him. If Ronaldo is to leave, next season, he will just be providing the goals for someone else.

People use the weak “if you took Ronaldo’s goals away from United, where would they be?” argument as proof that he is vital to our success. Equally then, where would Liverpool be without Torres’ goals? Arsenal without Adebayor’s? The fact of the matter is, those players are taking up places and being presented with opportunities to score that other players could take if they were on the field.

Teddy Sheringham was our highest scorer at the end of the 2001 season, bagging 15 goals and finishing the 6th highest scorer in the league. He left at the end of that season and what happened? The following season we had two strikers in the top six, Ruud scoring 22 and Solskjaer scoring 15. Ruud scored 21 goals for us at the end of the 2006 season before leaving for Real and what happened? Ronaldo scored 17, Rooney scored 14, and we won the league.

I am not alone in being disgruntled with Ronaldo’s poor attitude, cockteasing Real Madrid and leaving his own fans having to nervously wait over news. Either you want to be a United player or you don’t, it is not difficult. If there’s any grey area then it’s time to back your bags.

We’ve always known Ronaldo was going to leave for Spain one day, it just wasn’t expected to come quite so soon in his career. If he is to stay here for another season, then that is fine. He’ll want more medals, more glory and more praise before he leaves the Premiership, and performing well for United will earn him all of those things. But we shouldn’t have to endure a whole summer of this, and if that is his plan, he should leave now.

So, Ronaldo, what’s it going to be?

 


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About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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34 Comments

  1. LB says:

    Couldn’t have expressed it any better exactly how I feel. Especially that cockteasing bit!

  2. Androo says:

    What an ingrate!

  3. GW says:

    Nice article.

    I agree that if Ronaldo wants out, we should sell him immediately and screw every last penny out of Real.

    If we could use that money to buy Benzema i don’t think we’d miss him one bit.

    Also don’t forget that Tevez was very tired last season, having not had a break in something like 3 years. Next season he’ll be even better. Tevez + Rooney + An out-and-out goalscorer will create havoc.

  4. Anant says:

    fed up..i think the poll reflects that .
    we should put him in the stands next season like fergie says and let the home crowd join the away crowd in booing him at old trafford .
    its high time players realized that united fans are demanding (like barca) . who does he think he is to accept all our support and then ridicule us by whoring himself to some has been club ?!
    we arent in dire need of money and he is on a four year deal . he would probably go for the same price next season , so this idea shouldnt hurt us financially.

    1 thing i have learnt from the whole ronaldo experince – i’ll never respect him as a human being again , even if he ends up staying at united forever .

    also , could someone please change the lurics of ‘viva ronaldo’ to ‘up yours… slut’ !

  5. Anant says:

    fed up..i think the poll reflects that .
    we should put him in the stands next season like fergie says and let the home crowd join the away crowd in booing him at old trafford .
    its high time players realized that united fans are demanding (like barca) . who does he think he is to accept all our support and then ridicule us by whoring himself to some has been club ?!
    we arent in dire need of money and he is on a four year deal . he would probably go for the same price next season , so this idea shouldnt hurt us financially.

    1 thing i have learnt from the whole ronaldo experince – i’ll never respect him as a human being again , even if he ends up staying at united forever .

    also , could someone please change the lyrics of ‘viva ronaldo’ to ‘up yours… slut’ !

  6. knoxy says:

    I think we should sell Ronaldo for maybe £80M. We made a mistake with Beckham, letting him go too cheaply. Ronaldo is a sponsor’s dream so let that be included in the transfer fee.

    Before we sell him, we should buy Benzema now before we get the proceeds from Ronaldo’s transfer as his price would go up again.

    Now out magic 3 up front could be Tevez, Rooney and Benzema. Or playing a 4-4-2 we could have Rooney, Benzema up front with Nani and Ramsey as wingers…. if only !!

  7. John says:

    we survived with out becks. we survived without ruud. we survived with out king eric. we even survived munich. let ronnie go to madrid if he wants. anderson or nani or someone else will take up the mantle!

  8. Prasac says:

    Sell him,buy Benzema and Alves,play 4-3-3 and we will be at the top again

  9. Jak says:

    Sell him for a fortune, and then kick Madrid ass IF we meet them in the CL.

  10. kob says:

    he is too full of himself.. if he cant recognize the anxiety hes causin the supporters that stood by him through thick and thin then he holds no value to us fans.. and i couldnt care less if he leaves before the days over.

    my only concern is how this might impact nani and anderson.. it is clear they look up to him and the manner in which he made real madrid seem like every players dream club annoys the hell outta me.. the fans know wer the greatest.. so does modern history..in any case ronaldo’s got alot of explaining to do.. i hope he stays so we can boo him all season long next season just to prove a point or two

  11. chrispus says:

    NOBODY IS BIGGER THAN UNITED. ronaldo is second to ferdinand as my player of the season. and united have it in their capacity to find somebody to put away the chances he has got this season. the boy just doesnt know wat he wants. 2 SEASONS OF FAME OR A LEGACY. so maybe SAF should help him make up his mind by kicking a boot into his face.

  12. eric the king the king the king says:

    fock him off, he’s had 2 amazing seasons, but if his heart isnt in the club, wats the point in playin 4 us, id rather hav fletcher on the right wing than ronny, a much shitta playa, but a playa u no u can look at and say hes proud to be wearing that shirt, not like a portuguese cunt who wud swap it for a madrid 1 in a second!!

    i think gill shud burn the balls off madrid, see how much they reali want ronny, by sayn we want ramos and robinho along with a fock load of money, if they dnt match wat united want and ronny has come out and sed he wants 2 go 2 madrid, then he’s fockd from all angles!!!

    if he does go, makes the transfers exciting over the summa, as to see who will b the next superstar to have the 7 on his back!!!

    fock off ronaldooooooooo . . .

  13. jhunt says:

    While i will be sad to see him go, anyone who doesn’t want to play, can shove off. My only worry is, all of the players you mentioned were at or past their peak. Selling on a aging RvN or Beckham is on thing. Dropping Ince, Kanchelskis or Hughes when ready made replacements are there is one thing. But letting such a bright talent go is not good business, especially so early in his career. That said, if he doesn’t want to wear red, he can fuck off to the sunshine of Madrid.

  14. Kartikey says:

    I really am fed up of his behavior and he has just said that he will leave if madrid offer him and united what they are promising.I say instead spark of a bidding war or better still sell him to barcelona.That will show him he cant have everything he wants

  15. Scott the Red says:

    JHunt – Beckham had just turned 28 when he sold him. Not really a player you’d put in that “getting too old” category.

    When Kanchelskis, Ince and Hughes left, we DIDN’T have ready made replacements. The season before Becks was brought in to replace Kanchelskis, he’d played just 4 games, for example.

    That’s the point I suppose, you never know what’s around the corner. We didn’t know that skinny Sporting lad who replaced DB would be the best player in the World 5 years later. We didn’t know a load of kids filling in for three starting XI players would go on to win the Double.

    Who knows what opportunities Ronaldo leaving will provide?

  16. Gary says:

    Fcuk him! Im disgusted by his lack of commitment to the club! Hes said il leave they as long as they pay me what they say they will!!! Greedy prick! Hs not welcome back at Old Trafford and he will NOT get a good reception of me when he returns to Old Trafford one day! We have turned him into a marter and the club has given him everything he wants and this is how he repays us! NO ONE is above the club!

  17. Adeline Lim says:

    he is either with us or to be sold! no ifs or buts n no exceptions!

  18. Ipu says:

    Well, I always expected Ronaldo to leave us eventually, he has earlier given out comments pointing to that direction(R. Madrid :) , so I’m not that disappointed at his recent comments(if they’re true anyway), and I’m not angry at him at all.
    No-one should be, because Ronaldo has played a huge part of a truly memorable season…
    Instead we should be greatful for his magnificent performances and goals he has scored, and should the time of his transfer come(this or the next summer), the huge amount of money that we get out of it.
    He does what he desires, and everyone should respect his desicions, whatever they are. If he leaves this summer, he’ll never become the legend we want him to become, but the real question is, who wouldn’t leave for 300 000£ per week salary…
    Ronaldo is already one of the biggest players United has ever had, and he has the potential to become a legend for us. The decision is his to make, and whatever it is, we should respect it.

  19. Ipu says:

    Oh yeah, and we will be fine without him, we already have the quality to cover him just fine.

  20. Hassan says:

    keep hold on to him if we can, if not offer him to barca , just dont sell him to madrid they will then think their a bigger club than us and may cum and swoop for other players in a couple of years time like anderson.we are not a selling club.

  21. Dan says:

    I certainly will not be bothered when he leaves, yes he has been a great player last couple seasons, but no one is bigger than the club. He might be the best player now, but in 2/3 years time there will be another. Sell him for as much as possible make a couple of quailty signings and invest some into youth.

  22. OMelhorDoMundo says:

    He can leave and I’d personally replace him with Ben Arfa. Incredible with the ball at his feet and really, Ben Arfa on one side and Nani on the other doesn’t sound too disappointing, does it?

  23. Carlo says:

    He is too immature to realize (or does not care)that the EPL is far superior to the Spanish league. Real Madrid should be reported to FIFA. Other world class teams will back us, as they do not want their top class players leaving with years left on their contracts. FIFA and the top football clubs should make an example of real madrid. Let him ROT on the bench until June, the ungrateful dog. By then we should have a world class center forward lined up.

  24. Brian says:

    Fuck him. I have had enough of this bullshit. If he wants to go then let him go its his loss. I would much rather have fuckin fletcher on the wing if this is true. We have done so much for Ronaldo, I would be really disappointed in him if this goes through.

    Its his decision:

    MAKE A STATEMENT CONFIRMIMG WHAT HIS INTENTIONS ARE

    instead of messing around us fans. If he WANTS to go then please GO. We have had enough of this bollocks

  25. BESHER MU4EVER says:

    i hate real madrid more than you (english manutd fans) hate liverpool i cant bare this team i hope a big necular bomb just erase them from existence and more now they want to seduce the best player that is playing with us with money is killing me and the thing that is making me want to die is that he wants to..
    him moving to real will make me feel like you would feel if he moved
    to liverpool and scored a hatrick against us and celebrated it by kissing his badge infront of you iam a united fan sinve 7 years i never missed a game for them and i guess that if he left we wont be affected that much its not like we are not gonnna buy instead of him with the money that we can get we can buy dani alves quaresma and benzema

  26. Ishan says:

    This article echoed my feelings. We did well after Cantona, Ruud, Beckham and Keane. Do people really think, ater all of that, we cannot win without Ronaldo? Manchester United is a team which performs at new heights in the most dire circumstances. Time and again the club has shown that they are fighters, yet people question. If Ronaldo thinks Madrid will give him a legendary T-Shirt in his first season(as Ferguson did), give him the freedom to play where he wants, left, right or centre like he does at United, win him more medals or stick behind him like Ferguson and Rooney did after the World Cup in 2006, he’s off his rocker. You want to swap us for a club with truckloads of cash and no integrity, no passion, fuck off, we will make another Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo did not make United, United made Ronaldo and if you have any less than 110% passion for that red T-shirt and for this club, you are not a true Red Devil and can go to any fuck-all money-swaggering club in the world, be it Barca, Real Madrid or Chelsea. And anyways, if he does leave, I would love it if Real didnt win a dime next season, and we beat them out of the Champions League. That will teach the boy who’s bigger, United or Ronaldo.

  27. jimmy Bob says:

    lets be honest he is quality player who we would all rather see in our team than playing against us and yes him leaving wil hurt is but if we get £70 m for him and buy 3 or 4 players
    say berbatov ribbery richards and lahm

    would be weaker or stronger?

    imo stronger weve lost our better players before and come back

    as the song says “man untd will never die”

  28. denton davey says:

    Another really thoughtful article. Thanks.

    I’m also getting a bit bored with this “will he/won’t he” game but there is another way of looking at it that hasn’t yet been commented upon.

    So far we have not yet heard the words from Ronaldo’s mouth – but, rather, we have been given reports from “his mother”, “his godfather” and some unknown Brazilian news agency. Let’s give CR7 a bit of consideration and wait to hear what he himself says.

    IF he says he wants to go to Real Madrid then I am in agreement that this would be a bad career decision for him but not necessarily for UTD. He’s a great player but not indispensable to the team’s continued success – indeed, both Vidic and Rio are more important and so, too, for that matter is Wayne Rooney.

    IF the reports of huge, huge amounts of money are true and IF he wants to leave then it becomes a game of “chicken” to see how much UTD can demand – and get – since UTD hold all the trump card: he’s under contract at OT for another four years.

    One other thing: after getting Becks from UTD the buggers at RM gloated that they made up the transfer fee in shirt sales. IF Ronaldo is sold to RM then I would made a condition of sale that UTD gets a big, big slice of the shirt sales and his “image rights” for the next four years to compensate our team for its “loss” in that department. Made the fuckers cringe !

  29. ILamb says:

    He plays on the left.
    He Plays on the right.
    Our Boy Ronaldo!
    Would rather wear white…

    sigh…

    goddammit.

  30. corea says:

    Sell him for 100 mln anf buy Benzema (50) and Veloso (25)
    We will move on. ;)

  31. North Stand Ben says:

    Fuck him. Sorry Ronny but bye-bye.

    I stuck up for him when the whole ‘he’s not a big game player’ shite reared his head before Moscow but he’ll be dead to me once he leaves OT.

    Let him go to a team who got knocked out of the CL by Roma and haven’t come close to winning Europe since they had Zidane and the likes in their team.

    Then let us get them in the knock-out stages next year and show them, and him, who’s really boss.

    No player has ever gone on to better once leaving us. It’s not opinion – it’s fact.

    There is no better team but let him find out the hard way.

  32. Gary says:

    lpu your chatting out of your arse saying we should respect his decision! United have done so much for Ronaldo and in this time hes never once commited himself to the club like say Fabregas has at Arsenal. We have turned him into the best player in the world, we have turned him into a marter and given him everything he ever wanted. In interviews hes only ever talking about himself. I wish him no success at Real. Hes is arrogant, greedy and clearly misinformed if he thinks its going to be all rosey at Madrid. There fans will turn on him like the fickle fans they are when he slightly loses form. He was happy enough to sign a new contract last year for more money when he never really intended to say and you think we should wish him luck! Hes taken the piss out of us! Wake up!

  33. Nangolo David says:

    Ronaldo is a good player who made his name at Man u and stand a big chance of becoming a legend of Man u if he stay. if he lease man u, it will be a big lose to man u but a bigger flop to himself coz he will not be treated special as he is at Old Traford. He much think that money cannot pay the whole life. he must think back and reflect his way to success. if go, Man u still has best players like Anderson, Tevez, Rooney & Nani who can deliver.

  34. Ipu says:

    Hey Gary, do me a favour: realise the fact that YOU haven’t done sheit to make Ronaldo who he is, so don’t speak like you have…
    Whether he leaves or not, I wish him the best.
    Take ur head out of ur(or ur loverboy’s) arse to see the modern world, where money is the major factor in everything, whether u like it or not, and that Manchester isn’t the most pleasant place to be for a portuguese superkid…And that’s just ’cause of the shitty wheather and food u have. Trust me, been there twice.
    If I was Ronaldo, I’d do the same he does.

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